Video Gaming (EL 250)

3 Jan 2006

RRRR (Read, React, Respond, Reflect)

For every assigned text in EL250, including an article, a section from a book, a game, or a video, I am asking every student to contribute to an online discussion.

First we will start out simply posting a comment to the appropriate page on the EL 250 website.

But once everyone has had some time to experiment with the SHU weblog system, I'm asking for everyone to employ this four-step process, designed to prepare for a productive online discussion.

Read the assigned text (or play the game, or watch the video clip, etc.), react by posting an "agenda item" (see FAQ) to your weblog, respond to 2-4 items posted by your peers, and once a day I am asking you to reflect on your experiences in a 200-word informal essay (see "reflection paper" in the glossary).

But rather than counting the number of words on your blog, I'm interested in seeing you engage intellectually with the course content and your peers, whether you do that on your own blogs, on the course blog, or in the comments you leave on peer blogs.

The process of reading, reacting, responding, and reflecting is part of all critical thinking and writing. In our online community, we will practice, in an informal manner, the intellectual activity that goes into the production of a college-level research paper.

While your agenda items and lengthier reflections should be a little more formal, when you leave comments, don't worry too much about typos or grammatical mistakes. Feel free to use :) and LOL if you like.

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Not that I am one to complain, which I am when it comes to washing dishes, but according to this RRRR structure, we have over 1000 words to type, plus a 300 word essay, two reflections, questions on J-web, and a game to tackle.

I project that to be over 8 pages a day? I have not yet encountered a class that asks students to write an 8-10 page essay every week while still giving out readings and tests.

Please correct my error if we do not have to RRRR unless you specify like you did on just one of the assignments.

Posted by: Stephan Puff at January 2, 2006 11:02 PM

This page was originally written for a class that had at most one or two readings per week. I had meant to adjust the wording.

One 200-word reflection per day, covering all or most of the day's reading assignments, would be enough. And the blogged writing can be informal.

You can think of the blogging more like something you raise your hand to say in class, rather than something you draft and perfect as you would a formal essay.

I do still want a brief blogged initial response and exchanges of brief comments on peer blogs for every assigned text.

I think that will cut down a little on the sheer amount of typing, but remember in a face-to-face class, we'd spend 2 1/2 hours interacting with each other over the course of a week. Each day of a J-term class covers about as much material as a week in a regular class, so yes, that is a lot of interacting.

Puff, I've been impressed with the quality of the online participation I've seen so far, from you and your peers.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 2, 2006 11:26 PM

Thank you for your answer and your faith in people under 30. haha

Posted by: Stephan Puff at January 3, 2006 12:03 AM

The kids are alright!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 3, 2006 12:08 AM

*Off topic* I have a feature article from USA Today with that exact title! Alternate spellings and everything!

Anyway, how formal do you want the 200-word reflection to be? Can we include smilies?! q':

Posted by: Evan at January 3, 2006 06:04 PM

If I say yes, that will lead to the next question -- does a smiley count as a word? ;P

I'd like the final reflection to be more formal than a routine comment, but to me that means that you draft it and tweak it, not that you have to leave all personality out of it. Smileys are fine with me.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 4, 2006 01:09 AM
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